Thursday, April 16, 2009

Uncle John

- a short remembrance.

Uncle John passed away on Wednesday. He was a full 93 years old. Life long carpenter, builder, fisherman, hunter, deacon, ...pillar.

He was the oldest of my fathers siblings, two years older than dad. Born in Brooklyn, didn't speak English until the 3rd grade. Spent WW2 in training schools, gunnery, navigation, etc... seemed to never get off of a troop train and didn't leave the states.

Married Leona, grew a business along with friend Frank Dalrymple with the help of a mentor in the trades. Built schools, churches, government buildings and small county bridges. He gave 10% of his income to the church.

My eldest brother Greg drowned in Ohio 1976, while hosting my brother James and me for a month, Uncle John and Aunt Leona drove all night to be there with us, since our parents were touring the US and Canada and couldn't be located. He became very dear to me for helping me through that very hard time.

He bought me my first fishing pole, since I was always borrowing ones from my older brothers. He took me hunting for rabbits, squirrel, pheasant and deer. Every beagle he owned was named "Sam" or "Susie".

Leona died in the early 80s, and he missed her every day since. The years of grinding Terrazzo floors and cement dust caught up to him in these last 10 years, eventually forcing him to have oxygen and inhalers nearby. His quote to me was; "I dunno, Paul, don't get old..."

Well, he did, I hope to while living as committed and surely as he did.

A pillar and patriarch has passed from my life.


Jane said...

I am sorry for your loss:(, it sounds like he was a nice person to know.

Great blog background:)

zillustration said...

Thanks Jane.
He was. I've been blessed with great mentors. I believe it's what is lacking in most men's lives. Without their guidance and advice, I'd be stuck many times over.
The background is a variation on a repeating GIF I had made for a client a few years ago. My friend Greg had thought of the fade, and I tried to make it as small an image as I could... I got tired of looking at my plain black background.